Some people live in rental homes because they still can’t afford to buy their own houses. Others still want the flexibility that comes with renting. For millennials, they would rather enjoy life by renting instead of worrying about the costs and responsibilities that come with homeownership.
Renting might have limitations. But that does not necessarily mean you can no longer improve your rental to make it look and feel like your own home. But before you make home improvements, make sure to revisit your contract and to talk to your landlord.
Some landlords don’t like it when their tenants try to do specific remodeling projects. Other landlords, on the other hand, are much more accommodating, provided you share your intent and plans. Remember that you signed a contract. The last thing you want is to pay for a considerable amount of fine simply because you failed to communicate your plans with your landlord. If you are not sure what you can’t change, always ask and record their approval in writing.
If you plan on improving your rental, it would be best to consider the following tips.
Know Your Rights as a Tenant
Some tenants would rather do repairs and maintenance themselves. This is after their failed attempts to make their landlords fix significant issues. Know your landlord’s duty to ensure the safety of their rentals. This can include fixing any system issues, fixing large holes in your concrete with sealers, and getting rid of pesky pests. If your landlord is unwilling to handle major repairs, you have different options you can choose from.
You can repair and deduct, where you hire someone to do the repairs and deduct the costs from your rent. You can withhold your rent or still pay the rent and then hire an attorney to assist you sue your landlord. Others would rather call inspectors to oblige your landlord about the defective building. For others, they would rather move out and choose a better landlord to rent a space from.
Of course, if you are the one who caused significant issues, then you must pay for the repairs. Your landlord can charge you for the costs of repairs. They can also use a portion of your security deposit to fix the issues.
Choose Temporary Upgrades and Fixes
You might have plans to live in your rental for a couple of years. But it is important to remember that your landlord will still own the place no matter how long you paid for it. There is no point in shedding thousands of dollars on a property you won’t own at the end of the day.
There are still many things you can do accomplish your rental home improvement goals. When choosing a project or two, it would be best to select reversible fixes and upgrades. This will allow you to improve or upgrade your rental space knowing you can quickly put everything back in its original place.
Before you start improving the space, take note of everything you will move or replace. For best results, take pictures for record-keeping. Any item you change or replace, keep them neatly somewhere safe. Label each storage accordingly. This way, you will know where to find each one, and you can quickly put them back as if you barely made any changes at all. Do this before your tenancy expires.
Choose pieces you can easily replace. These can be doorknobs, faucets, showerheads, and cabinet hardware. Lighting fixtures can also be a great way to revamp the space without giving your landlord a headache.
Treat yourself with new window treatments, but keep your original blinds in storage. Before you paint your walls, inform your landlord. If they say no, you can opt for temporary wallpapers instead.
Call in the Pros
Sometimes, landlords would only allow you to make home upgrades if you hire the services of the pros. As much as possible, don’t attempt to DIY so that you can save on the costs. According to a study, many homeowners regret DIY-ing some projects.
Statistics also show that one out of three people hired the pros to fix their DIY disasters. Instead of saving money, they ended up paying for more. To save yourself from the backache and financial stress, choose your DIY fights wisely.
Everyone wants their rental home to reflect their personality and feel more like home. The good news is, there are ways you can do this without making your landlord made or wrecking your budget. Choose temporary projects and hire the pros for the tricky projects. Keep your rights as a tenant, and don’t forget to get your landlord’s the okay signal in writing before starting the improvement.